While work at the warehouse has recently increased, I have been working on a website for a good friend in my spare time. It has been her dream to have her autobiography published, but could not afford the “Vanity Publishers” somewhat expensive costs. What I have done is put a website together where people can purchase a PDF copy of her book, view a gallery of photos and read her book online.
While the book has been professionally proof-read and had suggestions made for editorial purposes, some of the suggestions were implemented while others were not. It is amazing how different the same text on a webpage can appear when “printed” into a PDF document and eBook. Certain sections required alteration to flow properly. What looks and reads well in a browser simply breaks down and looks wrong in a PDF document. It’s difficult to describe unless you actually experience it yourself.
I will not review the book here – you can get a better understanding of it by visiting Green Smarties and even downloading a free sample PDF!
The website, Green Smarties, is based on WordPress running the BookMaxed theme. There are a few plugins added – Easy Digital Downloads for the purchase and download of the book and NextGEN Gallery for the photo gallery being the main two. We are planning on releasing the book in the popular eBook ePub and Mobi formats as well in the near future.
I chose the BookMaxed theme because it has a nice modern feel, while still being fairly lightweight and nippy to load. Being designed for the promotion and reading of a single book, it has a simple navigation structure and a well designed layout.
BookMaxed provides several custom post types, consisting of Chapters, Features and Reviews. Chapters are for the individual chapters of the book. I know, obvious, huh?
Features allow you to emphasise certain aspects or content of the book or it’s history and Reviews are a specially formatted section for book reviews, complete with a star rating system.
Built-in support for Easy Digital Downloads means you can effortlessly add download facilities and can have visitors purchasing within minutes.
Having launched the website and gone further into the P2S course, I am probably going to change the Download Sample link from being a direct link to the sample file to an email list sign-up form. How we are going to run this list I’m not 100% certain, this will take a lot of careful thought as they will not be my subscribers. The list and the subscribers will belong to Mary, the author.
There are some rough edges to the website; mainly the gallery needs some tidying up and a more professional presentation, with some editing of the photos to improve their appearance. There are some style changes required, mainly tidying up of the layout in a couple of places. As a whole the website is running well and looks good though. I plan on rolling out updates on an ongoing basis, most of which are back-end oriented with little impact on the front-end.
I know Mary would appreciate you visiting and if you fancy leaving her a comment or even buying a copy of her book, it would really make her day!